Avada Theme Review: Is This The Ultimate WordPress Theme?
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Avada is the number one best-selling theme at the largest WordPress theme marketplace, ThemeForest. Since its release in August 2012, Avada has generated more than 100,000 sales — making it one of the most popular premium WordPress themes the world has ever seen!
The Avada demo does an excellent job of selling both the theme and the dream of being able to build a similar website without the need for a developer or coding skills. However, the reality of using a product can often differ greatly from the promises of its promotional material.
With that in mind, we’ve taken Avada for a test drive to see how easy it is to use and whether or not it lives up to the hype.
What Type of Theme is Avada?
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that there are two schools of thought when it comes to WordPress theme design. The first is that themes should be built for a specific type of website, with a minimal set of customization options and limited additional functionality; the second is that themes should be multipurpose, and include as many features, page templates, customization settings and options as possible to enable you to build any type of website with one package.
The developers of Avada fall into the latter camp here, and have used their skills to create a multipurpose theme that’s in no way lacking in features, customization options, prebuilt layouts, or third-party plugin integrations.
If this isn’t the type of theme you’d consider buying, then this review is unlikely to change your mind.
However, if the idea of a flexible theme that can be modified to build any type of website without any coding knowledge appeals, then Avada could be just what you’re looking for.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with a complete review of ThemeFusion’s Avada WordPress theme.
The Features of Avada That Helped it Become the Best-selling Theme of All-time
Avada is packed with a seemingly ever-growing list of features. The developers have certainly done a great job of expanding upon the core functionality of WordPress to cover almost every eventually, making this a multipurpose theme with few rivals.
The full list of features is actually much longer than this, but here are some of the highlights:
- Custom page builder tool with a large selection of elements
- All demo content and separate prebuilt page templates
- Video backgrounds for full-width containers
- Side headers (left or right as opposed to just top headers)
- Set header background opacity with independent widths
- Custom background colors and images for individual columns, posts, and pages
- Background image blur and fading effect on scroll
- Testimonial, portfolio, and skills publishing tools
- Built-in styles for popular plugins (WooCommerce and Gravity Forms)
The already extensive list of features can be widely customized using the wealth of options and settings available — making Avada an extremely flexible theme.
Getting Started With the Avada WordPress Theme
Thanks to the use of the required plugins installer, adding these to your site only takes a few clicks, after which you can set up the theme to meet your needs.
If you take a look at the front end of your website, you’ll notice it looks nothing like the demo version of Avada. However, you have a couple of options at your disposal to get things looking a bit more palatable.
You can either import all the demo content or recreate selected pages from the demo version. The second option can be achieved by using the Fusion Builder tool and its ability to recreate individual pages from the demo version. Alternatively, you can manually copy and paste the code from the documentation for the pages you want to build.
Both options are very straightforward, and you should soon have your website up and running.
The Avada Theme Options Control Panel
Obviously, you won’t want to use the entire demo version for your website, so you’ll need to head to the theme options control panel to start personalizing its appearance and functionality.
As you can see, the theme options control panel is something to behold, and gives you access to countless options for customizing and tweaking your website.
To get the most from Avada, you should probably spend some time going through the available options. However, when you’re just getting started, a better approach may be to locate any settings you want to modify as needed — rather than getting lost in the back end of your website.
The Fusion Page Builder Tool
Avada comes complete with its own proprietary page builder tool, which can be used to create a new post or page.
Its interface is pretty intuitive: The first step is to choose a column layout, after which you can populate the layout with content.
When it comes to adding that content, you can insert any of the many builder elements into the layout and then customize them to meet your requirements.
The layouts can be as advanced as you need — allowing you to add multiple rows, each with their own column layout. Elements can be added to each of the columns and rows, allowing you to build rich pages that really do break free of the constraints of the default WordPress editor.
While you don’t get a live front-end preview of your work as you use the builder, you can easily preview the post or page, just as you would a regular piece of content in WordPress.
Through the builder, you can also save any layouts you create for reuse, or apply one of the prebuilt templates.
Post and Page Options
As well as the Fusion Builder, posts and pages have an options panel below the main editor area that allows you to customize how they look and function on an individual basis.
These options cover a range of settings, such as adding background images, configuring how the sliders and header are displayed, which sidebars to display, and a whole lot more.
These choices are only applied to the individual post or page you’re working on, meaning you really do get a lot of flexibility in how the individual pieces of content on your website look and function.
Other Options, Settings and Features of Avada
As well as the post and page options, the custom post types that Avada makes use of — portfolio and FAQ — each have their own set of options, and their own custom taxonomies to help you organize them more efficiently.
Avada also gives you the option of creating multiple sidebar areas for your website, which can then be displayed on single or multiple pages. This gives you total control over the exact widgets that get displayed alongside each type of content.
There are also settings to display multiple menu locations, a sticky header and sliding bars that display widgets, and the option to display your site in a one-page mode — plus there’s also a huge library of customizable shortcodes.
On top of all that, you also get access to the premium LayerSlider WP and Revolution Slider plugins for adding amazing animated content sliders to your posts and pages.
The Downsides of Avada and Multipurpose Themes
Having so many features and tools at your disposal does have the potential to encourage you to go overboard when creating your website. Just because you now have the ability to add sliders, animation effects and a whole range of other exciting elements to your posts and pages, doesn’t mean you should — since adding too many features to your website can negatively impact page load times and usability. Sometimes adopting a less-is-more approach to web design is actually a better way of doing things (depending on the result you’re after, of course).
The same reasoning can also apply to the myriad customization options on offer. Again, just because Avada makes it easy to choose from a range of fonts, background types, and other design elements and effects, doesn’t mean you should be using them all.
Exercising some restraint can help you to avoid the pitfalls associated with too much choice, and help you to deliver an understated website that your visitors will love.
This isn’t an issue that’s in any way unique to Avada, of course — it’s actually something that applies to all feature-rich themes.
Another potential issue that, again, isn’t unique to Avada (but is still worth highlighting) is the issue of decision fatigue — something that can occur when working your way through the selection of settings and options on offer, and can occasionally limit your ability to make good design decisions.
Furthermore, having so many configuration options, layout choices and other possibilities, increases the chance of you becoming overwhelmed when building your website, which can hinder your ability to build the calibre of website you and this theme are capable of.
However, if you go into your project with a clear idea of what you want to achieve (as opposed to being led by the features and options on offer) you’ll have a good chance of success.
Avada is available from ThemeForest for a one-time fee of $58, which permits use in a single end product (i.e. on a single website).
Avada is a theme that’s dense with settings, options, features, and even external plugins, such as LayerSlider WP and Revolution Slider. The package comes with an impressive page builder tool that includes a huge selection of prebuilt layouts to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
However, despite the demo content, the individual page templates, and the helpful user documentation, it’s important not to underestimate the task of mastering Avada. At times, this theme can feel like a whole other piece of software that sits on top of WordPress, upgrading almost every feature and element, and adding a large selection of customization settings and options into the mix!
If you’re considering this theme, it’s vital that you understand what you’re getting before making the final decision. However, if you’re prepared to put in some work to get to grips with all Avada has to offer, then the constraints regarding what type of website you can build are, as the promotional material implies, pretty much unlimited.
To get a better idea of what Avada can do for your website, head to ThemeForest and take a look at the official Avada demo site.
Update (10 February 2015): If you’re looking for a little ‘Avada Theme’ inspiration, check out our list of 25+ Stunning Examples of Avada — ThemeForest’s Most Popular WordPress Theme — In Action.